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What is DRAC and Why do I need it?

(Refer to dell website for a full user manual)

DRAC stands for Dell Remote Access Controller. It is a hardware device that has its own processor, memory, network interface, and access to the system bus. DRAC provides virtual media access, power management and remote console capabilities. Such a controller allows you to access and manage your system remotely over HTTPS, through virtually any browser (though we strongly recommend FireFox on all platforms). DRAC is specifically designed to provide you the same level of system access as if you were sitting right in front of the local server console in the datacenter.

Remote console

With remote console a user can see video output of the server and make any input from keyboard or mouse, as if sitting in front of the server. Remote console uses Active X or Java application (user selectable, but we highly recommend to use Java) which displays a window showing the video output and which takes keyboard and mouse input. It is similar to other remote access solutions like Remote Desktop Connection for windows or KVM over IP.

Power management

User may reboot (power cycle), turn off and turn on the server even if the core operating system has crashed or shutdown.

Virtual media

DRAC allows a user to mount remotely-shared disk images as if they were connected directly to the server. Together with the remote console, this gives users the ability to re-install an operating system without ever touching the server itself, a task which traditionally required local console access to the physical machine. Administrators can control virtual media through the browser or through the OpenManage tools provided by Dell, though specific versions of browsers restrict some functionality.

Hardware monitoring

Another important feature of Dell Remote Access Controller is hardware monitoring. A user can see the status of all major hardware components such as power supplies, fans, RAID cards, as well as environmental factors like air and CPU temperatures. A System event Log (SEL) keeps accurate historical records of the events, so an administrator can spot recurring patterns and take action before a failure occurs.

How to access DRAC ?

In order to access DRAC you should have following pieces of information:

-DRAC IP address
-DRAC user name (not the same as SSH user)
-DRAC password

1.Open your favourite FireFox browser (we recommend to use FF with Java 1.6)
2.Go to https://ip_address_of_drac and add an exception for web certificate warning (!!!)
3.Enter your credentials and press login button.

You should see following screen:

Drac 5 homepage screenshot

Enjoy your server!

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